I love my fruit and veg box. BUT I am growing tired of having to figure out what to do with the chard that seems to be a year round fixture. Any good vegetarian ideas?
This is what I have made of it recently...
-chard and potato spanish omelet
-braised garlicy chard w pasta, polenta,
- north african flavoured lentil, chard, tomato and potato soup
Chard makes a wonderful gratin. Steam it and squeeze out the excess juice. Add a bechamel--and a little cheese if you like. Put it in a gratin dish, sprinkle breadcrumbs and a bit of butter or olive oil on it. ANd bake. Another way, not strictly vegetarian, is to stir fry it with a bit of bacon and onions and a splash of balsamic vinegar. You can leave the bacon out. But use enough oil to give it that unctuous taste. You can also stir fry it with grated zucchini. In that case I grate the zucchini, macerate it with a bit of salt for an hour, and squeeze out the extra liquid. A bit of garlic is a nice touch. And I like a touch of fresh nutmeg with it, but lots of other seasonings are possible. I haven't tried it, but a bit of Worcestershire sauce with that might be good too.
Last night's chard...
I chopped some pulled pork shoulder (leftover from last weekend's smoker/bbq endeavor) and sauteed it with some roughly chopped red onion, half a yellow squash (diced), and chopped chard ribs. I let everything get nice and browned -- but not too soft -- then added a little water to lubricate the pan, tossed in the chard leaves (cut into thick ribbons), and let them wilt a bit. Finished with s&p and lemon juice. Simple, colorful, and tasty.
We had it as a side to polenta, and fried zucchini blossoms stuffed with lemon/lavender goat cheese and a little chopped pork.
I made yummy Chard Lentil soup today to help use the abundance of chard in my garden. Recipe is flexible. Here's what I did:
- Chop 1 onion, 1 carrot, 1 celery, saute in olive oil in soup pot
- Add one handful each fresh oregano and sage, 1/2 cup green lentils, 3 cups water, simmer 15 minutes
- Meanwhile, wash and chop chard (1 large frying pan full), then saute in olive oil until wilted, season with s&p
- Add to to soup pot: cooked chard, 1/2 cup red lentils, 1 large sweet potato (diced - about 2 cups), simmer 15 minutes (add more water if needed).
- At end, add 2 cloves garlic (mashed with 1 tsp salt), about 1 Tbsp lemon juice, salt to taste, pepper or hot sauce to taste
- Optional: remove about 1/3 of the soup, puree in food processor, then mix back in. Reheat and serve. Yum!
I'm hesitant to say that I like one of Giada's recipes because her CLEAVAGE is so irritating, but this recipe is fantastic - I've made it countless times.
Btw, I vary the ratio of onions to tomatoes to chard - whatever you happen to have or buy.
And the "garnishes" (pine nuts, olives, Pecorino) really make the dish.
(one final note, I cut out the "ribs" of the chard and chop those and get them started first (with the onions), to soften them a bit, then I add the chard leaves later) YUM!
My no-fail chard recipe means throwing it on the grill!
Strip the leaves from the ribs, and cut the ribs into pieces about 2-3 inches long. Toss the leaves and ribs together with evoo, salt, pepper, lemon juice (or a little balsamic, if you prefer), and whatever dried spices suit you at that moment.
Using a grill basket like this one...
...(or something similar) throw the veg onto the grill and toss with tongs -- making sure not to let the leaves burn -- for about 5-7 minutes. You'll want to pull the leaves out before the ribs (and that's why you stripped them earlier), as the ribs take longer to cook.
The chard comes out perfectly cooked, flavorful, and nicely smokey.
Saag/palak paneer! Nobody's mentioned Indian preparations, and I find the flavor palette of Indian food to be a nice change from the everyday. Paneer is pretty widely available, but since it's dairy, you can use firm tofu if you'd prefer the dish to be vegan. There are a gajillion recipes available online, OR you could check out Manjula's palak paneer tutorial on YouTube, which I would highly recommend.
I get a lot of chard from my CSA, which I love! Yes, I too usually just saute w/ olive oil and garlic and serve as a side.
Or stewed lentils with chard (and perhaps sausage, and turnips if I got 'em)
The other night I tried this as a main dish, my own variation on beans and greens:
Caramelize one chopped onion (cooked slowly in olive oil, covered and stirred occasionally) for about 40 mins. Tear chard (I don't bother chopping), soak and rinse.
Add to onions: chopped garlic, chard, 1 or 2 canned tomatoes, chicken stock, cover and cook. Add canned white beans (cannellini or great northern) to heat up, S&P. Serve w/ grated parmesan cheese.
I liked this a lot, and a nice healthier change of pace from pasta.
I also enjoy chard sauteed with garlic in olive oil mixed with ziti, pecorino or parmesan cheese, perhaps drizzle on olive oil and/or lemon juice to brighten it up.
Finally, you could boil the chard and add to a layered salad w/ roasted beets and pine nuts w/ salad greens, as in Ana Sortun's Spice, the current COTM. She calls for beet greens, but I would think chard could be substituted. Fantastic w/ aioli. See "sumac, citrus and fennel seed" thread. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/633195
and aioli http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/633192
I realized as I was making it the other night that I forgot to add this chard recipe to the thread:
It's a savory tart and it works great for dinner with a big salad or for breakfast (hot or just room temp even). I adjusted the recipe to use more chard and a bit less cream. I also used a whole wheat crust instead of puff pastry. It's really good.
This was from one of Rick Bayless's cookbooks, and it is delicious--if you're ok w/dairy.
Start w/a batch of rajas (roasted, peeled, and seeded poblanos, cut into strips, and sauteed in olive oil w/sliced onion and chopped garlic until onions are lightly browned and still crunchy). These can be made ahead and stored in fridge. I make large batches as I like these with many other things.
Dice potatoes and braise in chicken or vegetable broth on stovetop, in pan large enough to finish the whole dish, until potatoes are barely tender. While potatoes are cooking, slice chard into 1-inch strips using chiffonade method. When potatoes are cooked, add chard and cook until it wilts. Add rajas and finish with creme fraiche or regular heavy cream, cooking until cream is thickened.
I use this most often as filling for tortillas, but have also used it as a vegetable side and--for non-vegetarians--as a sauce for sliced, grilled steak or pork loin.
You can vary the proportions as you like. I never use the same proportions twice, vary amt. of peppers depending on heat, chard and potatoes depending on amount of body I want, cream according to mood, dining companions, current waistline. Very forgiving.
I cook chard about.... 3 times a week, and i'm generally pretty basic in preparations. I start off with garlic and a good green olive oil in a pan. Different spices and add ins are what make it different. Last night i toasted some (really) spicy chilis with the garlic and oil, then added some quartered cremini mushrooms. When the mushrooms were browned, threw in the neon chard, salt, and pepper. I served this as a side for the spicy steak and smoky roasted garlic mashed potatoes for my guest, and ate it as my dinner. He said it was "phenomenal" and he'd never had chard before.... He actually ate it before the steak, and steak is his favorite food ever, even more so when its spicy.
My other favorite is to saute it with some cannellini beans and onions (w/ garlic, olive oil, s&p of course).
Or I'll add it to a tomato and broth based veggie soup at the end.
Or in a Frittata with cubed potatoes.
Here are two of my favorites, one a pasta, one an egg dish (they both are terrific) You can use any greens or a combo. Chard is perfect:
PASTA WITH GREENS
Note: I often make it with Swiss Chard, but I love it with Kale, it gives it a wonderfully spicy kick. Perhaps even better is a mixture of greens, all kinds...mustard, spinach, beet, etc - I love it with beet greens alone.
Slice two large bunches of chard/kale/etc about twice the size of matchsticks... it doesn't have to be exact, you could tear it, even.
Then, saute it in a mixture of olive oil and butter with chopped onion, garlic (chopped or slivered) and as they cook down, add chopped parsley. (I often add a variety of herbs, though just italian parsley works great. If I have them, I also add chopped tomatoes.)
Then toss it with fresh cooked pasta and grated parmesean or pecorino.
You can also add a little wine or chicken or vegetable broth about halfway through the saute for additional flavor.
This is very tasty.
2 T EVOO
2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
2 ‐ 3 large handfuls kale (or any fresh green: chard, beet green, spinach, etc) washed
and torn into bite sized pieces, stems removed
2 T crumbled feta (or goat cheese or shredded manchego, etc)
3‐4 eggs, lightly beaten
small handful kalamata olives, torn or chopped
salt and papper
1 lemon, halved
‐ Heat EVOO over medium hear, add garlic and stir until soft, being careful not to
‐ Add greens and salt& pepper, and sauté until desired consistency (I like them
softer but with still a bit of a bite; others may want to sauté until quite soft)
‐ Sprinkle cheese all over the greens, then pour in eggs
‐ Cook until desired consistency. I just cook them as if to scramble, stirring…you
could also evenly distribute everything in the pan, cover, and let cook by sitting.
‐ Top with olives and squeeze of lemon (this really makes the dish)
Zuni Cafe's Chard, Onion & Gruyère Panade:
Deborah Madison's Chard and Onion Omelet (Trouchia):
I like to saute it with butter and extra virgin olive oil with a few oil-packed anchovy filets in there. A dash of hot pepper flakes. Squeeze of lemon juice and some zest along with the salt and pepper.
I also like it as a quiche filling. It has more body than spinach and a good toothiness for the rich stuff.
Also, a simple gratin. I quickly blanche it (or ifyou've got leftover saute) into a casserole dish, cover with a bit of heated cream, grated nutmeg (or even lemon zest is nice for the summer) and top with a cheese and breadcrumb mixture. I like some sultanas/golden raisins with the greens, too.
I prefer chard cooked the old school way , stewed down for hours. But another benefit is the pot liquor. Save it, and or freeze it. It makes the best base for beans or soups.
I was wondering if you like a chard fritta with potato and carmalized onion. Not fancy but a simply nice meal with a salad. Or add it to vegetarian lasagne, carmalized onion, tomatoes, eggplant, and butternut squash and crimini mushrooms. I like to make a ricotta/ garlicky sauce, and I alternate that with a light fresh tomato sauce. It's not like the traditional lasagne where you drop dollops of ricotta, but a nice smooth consistency in between the layers of pasta and veggies, and its laced with fresh basil. Then top the whole thing off with a bechamel and grated romano and a little extra fresh tomato sauce
I could eat vegetarian lasagne anytime.
Or make large tortellini, and dress with a tomato cream sauce. yum.
I saute it with garlic, then add fat free cream cheese, some milk, creole seasoning, lime juice and serve that over pasta, then top it with a little tomato jam (you can make your own with a can of tomatoes, a tablespoon of sugar and some agar powder if you can't find it already made).
Oh how could I have forgotten. Phurstluv's post reminded me. Chard also works well to use as a wrap for risotto. Use leftover risotto, put a piece of cheese or cherry tomato or something in the center and form into a ball (like you would to make arancini). Then wrap with a chard leaf and put in a baking pan with a little bit of stock (or water) in it and bake. Really good.
This link is to a recipe for crispy kale, which you could try doing with chard: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/617694
If it comes out too fragile to eat as a snack, it will still have reduced to a small volume which you could then freeze for addition to soups and sauces over the winter.
We love chard. Other than spinach, it's DH's favorite green. I cook vegetarian, but many of these ideas use cheese/dairy so I hope that's okay for you.
--chard & escarole soup: saute garlic and red pepper flakes in olive oil; add stock (we use veg stock) and bring to boil; add 1/4 lb farfalle; when pasta is al dente add one head of escarole (torn) and one large bunch of chard (torn, hard stem removed) and cook just a few minutes so they still have a bit of bite; take off heat and add juice of one lemon. You can sprinkle with parm if you like.
--polenta & chard: similar to this recipe http://find.myrecipes.com/recipes/rec... . Sorry I can't find the exact one I use. Basically it's a layer of polenta (prepared with butter and cheese) in the bottom of a baking dish, then a layer of chard sauteed with garlic, some cheese or sour cream, top with another layer of polenta, sprinkle some parm on top and bake.
--sandwiches: we really like to have grilled cheese and salads a lot in the summer. On ciabatta rolls, spread dijon mustard and top with sliced gruyere interspersed with torn chard, then top of roll. Grill on stove top until golden; I like to press them down so the cheese and chard really get gooey together.
--omelettes or fritattas (works especially well in the latter
)--sauteed just with garlic, red pepper, spritzed with lemon juice
--I once filled wonton wrappers with leftover sauteed chard and then fried them. Not bad.
--braise chard with either stock (veg) or even tomatoes so it has a more stew-y consistency
--sub for escarole in soups like escarole and canellini bean
--put on pizza
Can't think of any more right now. I'd love it if you would post the North African lentil-potato-chard soup recipe. That sounds good.
We get a lot of chard in "our box" in the winter, and recently fought over this recipe from Jack Bishop's "Vegetables Every Day". Chilled Chard . Damp chard, sprinkled with salt, cooked at medium for ten minutes. Chill over collander. Store chilled until you are ready, then serve with teaspoon each of olive oil and lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste. .
I cooked onions, carrots, garlic in pot with olive oil, cumin, fennel, pepper flakes, and cinnamon. Once onions were browning, I added cubbed potatoes, some yellow lentils (or maybe it was mung daal?) water, stock cube, tinned chopped tomatoes. Once potatoes were tender, I added ribbons of chard, and cooked till tender but still bright green. Served it with cilantro on top. Very good for a rainy summer day.
I'm not really great with the chard use, either. Other than the usual pan fry with reduced balsamic, I've tried and liked
-- a non-traditional stracciatella with shredded chard leaves (doesn't use up that much chard, though)
-- swiss chard quiche
-- chard pancakes (finely chop chard, mix with flour, eggs, salt, milk, pan fry; this prep is courtesy of my mom)
I cook chard several times a month but usually don't stray from a few prearations we like.... simple sautee with EVOO, garlic & onions, or as a component to a stir-fry, and as you did over pasta perhaps with fried pancetta & sauteed mushrooms. It's a nutricious and tasty veggie and a good addition to round out any meal.
Some very good sugestions here:
Hmmmm... Harissa. That's interesting. Spicy Italian sausages have been known to find their way into my skillet once in a while. Never thought of the chipotle, though. Now that I think of it red pepper flakes are part of the mix as well. Apparently my short term memory is zilch.